The Reverse Diet heralds a new direction in eating habits, discovers Emma Bangay. But is it the right one for you?
You're thinking eat more and lose more is a whole load of baloney, right?! Before you totally throw this idea in the bin, take a read through the list of benefits. The Reverse Diet might actually be the eating plan for you.
Reverse Versus Straightforward Dieting:
Reverse Dieting is a method of slowly adding ‘healthy’ calories to your diet over a three-month period, without gaining weight (or as little as possible) so that the body knows how to function on increased calories. This steadily and safely fires up your body’s natural metabolism rate so that it becomes trained to handle excess calories.
In contrast, straightforward diets hang their hats on cutting calories long-term, so you lose weight. The big problem is you also lose the capacity to deal with the everyday calorific curve balls you encounter once your diet ends. And it will end. This is called ‘metabolic damage’, and it’s a byproduct of long-term calorie cutting.
Health Professionals Reverse:
Popular with body builders for a long time, now the Reverse Diet is moving into the mainstream, experts note with a nod. “Retraining your metabolism is not only essential for fat loss but it also trains your body to utilise energy optimally which is the foundation for all systems, health and especially for muscle gain too - which essentially increases your metabolism as well,” explains Fiona Caddies, founder of WhiteZebra - a dynamic movement, wellbeing and lifestyle business for women.
Fiona believes this eating program is a wonderful option for anyone who has plateaued in his or her weight loss and struggled with fat loss. Also, if you are battling haywire hormone levels after extended periods of dieting, this is also a healthier, long-term option to add some equilibrium to your moods.
Reverse Safely If:
Although eating the right amount of healthy and nutritious food – or a bit extra – is not really dangerous for anyone, “it’s actually very good to top up your macronutrients, vitamin and mineral stores whilst also making your body function optimally,” encourages Fiona.
The main things to remember if you Reverse Diet are:
1. Anyone with a propensity to become obsessed with dieting or food regulation could also become obsessed or create disordered eating with this method. “In my opinion, if you know you are at risk here, commencing any kind of specific control over food could lead you back down the track of unhealthy patterns. This method is not specifically dangerous in terms of lacking nutrients or damaging the body in any way,” urges Fiona. “However, it is still a precursor to dieting and is also constant, conscious eating which can play on the minds of those susceptible.”
2. This way of eating is NOT “eat whatever you want”; it’s controlled and conscious eating of extra nutritious foods, which are actually good for your body, not excess fast food or bingeing.
3. Don’t forget to Digest: If you have previously severely reduced your food intake and meal size or you simply have poor digestion, it is a good idea to slowly increase your meal size rather than slamming your body straight away. “If you don’t, you will have quite a bit of belly discomfort and won’t get the optimal desired results,” Fiona notes.
“This diet is quite easy to stick to in a realistic lifestyle, it’s what comes post reverse dieting which will be harder,” cautions Fiona, who thinks that reversing your mindset before what you put in your mouth, is of utmost importance. “Whenever you eat, remember that it’s an opportunity to nourish and repair your body or an opportunity to create disease so choose healthy, whole, real foods – organic is best!” she says. Variety is also key to prevent intolerances – not to mention boredom - and provide a full spectrum of nutrients, so eating ethically sourced proteins, organic fats and lots of vegetables, greens and colours is also a great guideline, notes Fiona.